Words/Interview by Camilla Astrid Strand
Scrolling through Facebook and a giant pink fist punching out from a black background catches my eye. I read the screaming white font yelling Rock Sisters United and immediately I need to know more. I sat down to discuss with Stella, the organiser, and also the lead singer of Brissie rock band Da’vaim, to discuss what she has in store for us;
Thanks so much for taking the time to talk with me! I think what you’ve put together is really exciting, tell me about the event Rock Sisters United?
“Rock Sisters United is predominantly about supporting and celebrating women in music. It was conceived in the back of my mind about 12 months ago and it came to me in a dream, from there it got me thinking about women in the music industry and a passion was ignited. As a female in the music industry myself, I had a vision to unite women doing what they love, which is play and create music in a supportive environment. Rock Sisters United is a platform open to any females who are involved in bands. This is not exclusive to female only bands as there are many men out there who support us, so they can be in any role from vocalist to drummer’s etc. Rock Sisters United will be events that showcase our kick-ass women in bands locally and potentially Australia wide, to tear up the stage and be celebrated for being women who can just be themselves.”
What inspired you to put this together?
“I did a bit of research into what bands there were in Brisbane and found there is a growing number of women in bands. I felt this was a way to bring us all together, to network but also support each other in one place as we are all on a similar journey. It’s not about segregating women from men, it’s not what it’s about, it’s about banding together and celebrating us as women, that we can be successful in music, and creating a platform to do this.”
I think supportive men can often fail to see the barriers for women in music, what would you say to them?
“I would say, be kind and treat everyone as your equal. From personal experience, I have been overlooked and my voice and opinions have been ignored. I feel this is due to the fact that I am female and have felt my input can fall on deaf ears. An example of this is that when dealing with people outside of the band who approach us with their services, especially in a face-to-face scenario, they will automatically directly speak with the males in the group regarding important decisions until I speak up and let it be known who I am and what role I have in the band. Is it due to the fact that women are still perceived to have limited knowledge in a fairly male dominated industry? I’m not sure, but we have just as much say as our male counterparts. So yes, my main point would be – we are your equal.”
Seraphic are a stand out band, and I’m glad to see they are the headliners for your show, can you tell me a bit about Seraphic?
“Seraphic, where do I start! An absolutely phenomenal band! I came across Seraphic about a year ago and have been following them ever since. If I had to put one word in to describe them it would be “Mesmerising”. They were always my number one choice to approach to headline my first Rock Sisters United show. I watched them perform at their ‘Chrysalis’ album launch at The Brightside and they captivated everyone’s attention, they took us all on an enchanting musical journey that left us wanting more. Sam Wolstenholme is an awesome front woman who can hold her own and she makes me so proud to be a woman in this industry.”
Can you tell me about the other bands that are a part of the Rock Sisters United show?
“I am truly excited about this first ever line up for Rock Sisters United. I have locked in some awesome bands who all have something different to bring to the show. We kick off the show with my band Da’vaim who are opening the show, we have been working hard to bring you some of our earlier music along with some newer songs. We will be bringing to the stage one of our new songs that we will be performing live for the very first time, so we are super excited. Next, we have Krave, we have had the privilege to perform alongside Krave on a few occasions and they put on one hell of a show. Their music packs a punch from the get go and along with the incredible vocals Siana Davis brings to their heavy rock vibe, they never fail to entertain. Terror Parade are up third with their theatrical shock rock show. With the haunting vocals from ZICHXYNA this band is sure to put on an exciting performance with a surprise at every turn. Valhalla Lights are the lead up band to the finale, they have many gigs under their belts and have played alongside many larger acts. They will bring the fire and burn brightly with their volcanic rock explosion with the powerful melodic rock vocals of Ange Saul.”
Were there any bands you were courting that weren’t able to be on the bill?
“I compiled a list of local bands with women in them and as the numbers started to increase, I thought “wow”, we have so much amazing talent and they are all in our own backyard. The more I researched, the more I discovered just how many we have. I was looking at bands who play their own original music as a way to get their music out there and be heard. It is such an indescribable feeling you get when you create something from the depths of your soul and turn it into a musical piece of art to be shared with the world. It is such an honour to be able to share this through Rock Sisters United. There was so much interest and support, I have enough bands on my list to continue with Rock Sisters United as a regular show. It wasn’t so much that bands weren’t able to be on the bill because of dates etc. It was more the case of I only have so many spots available.”
Which musicians inspire you and your work with your band Da’vaim?
“Over the years I have always been a multi-genre listener anything from metal to opera. One of my biggest awe-inspiring influencers would be the Legendary Lzzy Hale from Halestorm. She was one of the reasons that inspired me to sing. As I watched her perform, it ignited a fire and desire to give it a go. The person who inspired me the most though is Dave Boyle, Da’vaim’s drummer. It was Dave that was the backbone to actually make this dream a reality. If it wasn’t for his encouragement and being my biggest fan, I wouldn’t be doing this today. Da’vaim as a whole has been inspired by many people along our journey thus far, from people in the local industry to big well-known bands from Carcass to Soundgarden.”
What’s coming up for Da’vaim?
“Da’vaim’s 2021 plans are to just continue to get out there and play as much as we can, we are currently recording new music to release in the next few months which is super exciting so watch this space!”
And what are your plans regarding the Rock Sisters United shows?
“I have a vision for Rock Sisters United and believe it has the potential to grow into something awesome. Long term plans will be to take it Australia wide doing festivals and conferences etc. I have a big vision and the next step is to find a team to make this a reality.”
What advice would you give to any woman who may be dreaming about being a musician but is too afraid to start?
“Give it a go! You will never know what you are capable of unless you try. It’s not the failed attempts that make us better, it’s getting straight back up, adjusting your crown and persevering. Be prepared to work hard and don’t settle for less than you deserve!”
You can purchase tickets here for the Rock Sisters United show.
Event page here.